Discussion in 'Off-Strip Hotels' started by bnlphan, Jun 6, 2017.
I love smart people.
If either of you were a hot chick, you'd really make my day
Hopefully notfromconcentrate agrees to "tuck" with me and we can all go Bangkok style for you!
He makes great points on the current greed in vegas, Lord knows I have lamented the same things before. But in realty, if I'm flying 4 hours from chicago, and the flight cost $600-$700 for the wife and I round trip, I'm not spending 4 days sitting in a shithole to slow my losses. Does that make me a sucker, or a tourist? Not sure. LOL
I agree the Longhorn isn't fancy, nor does it pretend to be, but calling it a shithole is too harsh in my opinion.
Yep. Poopiehole would have been less harsh.
Well that's the great thing about Vegas. You can do it however you want. Cheap, shitty, expensive, clueless, etc. I used to be clueless and just paid full price for stuff, played bad video poker, etc. Now that I've done all the touristy crap and I understand how the "system" works, I'm perfectly happy to be off the strip getting everything I want. If other people want to do it their own way, good for them
I didn't know we were talking mainly about BJ. I thought it was about dumpy places.
By the way I had onion rings for dinner. Don't you just me. ☺
I always find the 6/5 versus 3/2 argument very amusing. I predominantly play BJ. On occasion, I play 6/5 if were at a party pit or we are at a casino that offers only 6/5 and my wife wants to play some low level BJ. If I lose a $100, I don't care. When I play BJ by myself, that is my average bet.
Why isn't there similar criticism for players for 3/2 tables who play at the $10 and $15 tables but who could easily step up to the $25 and $50 tables and get more favorable rules? They are often betting green chips at the low level table. While usually I stay at MB, I always make a trip up to TI and play in the HL room. Last trip there was one other person and I sitting at one of the $25 tables. We both had a good run and were taking advantage of the more favorable rules. I got up when they were changing out the cards and walked around. Outside the HL room, I watched a full low limit table where 3 players were betting quarter above. These players lost a few hands because they didn't have the rules available that we did.
Loving the back and forth as well And I hope we aren't annoying anyone either. Having said that, I'm going to round up our discussion to make it less wordy for simplicity's sake, and to try and gear it back to the thread's point, of discussing the "worst casino in town".
- We're having an interesting debate, on the combined subjects of 3,247% vs 400%, and how players choose to size their bets. This is obviously only speculation... but I maintain that the majority of players will naturally flock to the lowest-available bets. I base this on observations such as the $5 table at the back of the Monte Carlo always being full, the $3 tables at the Cal and the Fremont generally being quite full, and on cruise ships, the $6 tables always being full. Or, at least, comparatively full, looking at the rest of the tables in the casino. To recreational gamblers, they know the odds are against them. So if you have the option to play for $5 or $15, why would you play for 3x more? Yes, there are incentives to play at the $15 table in that case... to include possibly better rules, not being as full, higher stakes being more exciting if you win, and perhaps even getting better attention from the cocktail waitresses.
As a recreational player, I'd play $2 per hand all day long if I could get it. But we know that pretty much exists only in one place now. Sure, I can play $3 blackjack at Cal and Fremont, but that pays 6:5, so even money on a $3 bet. Numerous viable $5 options exist downtown, so there's that. But I want to Vegas like a "regular person" (shudder). So we'll move to the strip. To play ANY blackjack game, I'm looking at a minimum of $10, notwithstanding the odd $5 exception. To get 3:2, I might find a $15 table, but you're usually looking at $25. So let's do the breaking point analysis again. To simply have the ability to play a decent game, I need to bet 12.5x more than what I would have to bet elsewhere. To make a 20-unit buy-in, I'm buying in for $500, instead of $40. Most people simply do not have the money to do that. On that basis, they'll play to suit their bankroll. How do they determine that? Not by saying "I'm a $15 blackjack player". But rather, "I've got $300 to play with today, do I want 20 units at a $15 table, or 12 units at a $25 table?".
So, I can see how the $2 vs $15 wager comparison can be seen as misleading, kind of like the "this is how many points you can earn!" breakdowns on credit card offers. But to look strictly at the % EV is to ignore the (debatable) tendencies that people have when it comes to sizing their wagers. Yes, you can get good odds on the strip, but it comes at a price of playing for higher $. I'm taking "the cost of access", so to speak, into the calculation, which is why I don't think it's misleading. But if you give someone the option to play $2 vs $15 at the same rules, I can guarantee you people will take the $2 option*. So, if you were comparing the games side by side as just games, you're absolutely right that there's a 400% difference. But when you MUST make bigger bets just to play another one of the games because of the "venue premium", I think that is necessary to take into account.
* Again, comps, and in the next point.
- So, comps. You are right that at the Longhorn specifically, the only comp that I'm really getting is free beer. By comparison, strip properties and resorts in general will have much more to offer. I don't think we really disagree about a whole lot here. In fact, strengthening your point, I think the "lack of need to travel elsewhere" is actually kind of an invisible comp, by playing where you're staying. I'll get to this more in my next point, but we're not specifically comparing the Longhorn against the Bellagio here. Those are just symbolic of the lower, and upper ends, respectively. The "catch" that you were describing about good $2 blackjack is "you have to play at the Longhorn". We definitely agree there. That is a catch, both because it's out of the way, and there's no real expected return for your play in terms of comps.
Now, if I can be honest, this is where I feel like I kind of forgot what we're arguing about (LOL). But briefly addressing the issue of comps, I can see why playing a worse game, at higher stakes, for a better atmosphere does have tangible value, with respect to what comps you stand to get in return.
The twist where I think we'll agree is in how long you play for. If you only need to play four hours at a resort to be considered for comps, then I think the playing field is level. But for players like me who will usually play more than that in a given day, it becomes an expensive proposition. No amount of red-chip blackjack will get you a comp for a suite. Ever. It could get you a room at a Bally's/Harrah's/TI/Excalibur grade property. Which is why putting in four hours a day of red chip action can have a positive return on it. But if you want to play for 10 hours a day, the extra six hours is almost wasted. In that case, if it will cost you nearly $28 per hour just to play, and you've essentially maxed out your "comp-ability", that's where I think we can agree that taking your action elsewhere for a lower expected loss may be justified.
We all know that chasing comps can get very expensive. We do it anyway because, why not play, possibly win, and get stuff for free, right? But by understanding realistic upper limits of what one's level of comped play stands to get them, it puts the tolerability of shitty rules into perspective.
- Bringing this discussion full circle to the thread's subject, we're asking what the "worst casino in town" is. Flat out, I'm going to say it's not the Longhorn. It may be a shady spot with no real decent comps aside from alcohol, some stains on the carpet, and perhaps a few too few teeth on the people who go there, but based on what you and I have said, in terms of the gambling value of lowest expected loss, it has the best blackjack game in town. Even though the "worst casino in town" label may carry an implied list of other criteria (e.g. hotel, pool, parking, etc.), there is no way that I can consciously call the Longhorn the worst casino in town, simply given the quality of blackjack that it offers, despite how poor the other elements may be.
Like I mentioned in my previous point, in our discussion we're not specifically referring to the Longhorn and the Bellagio. We can go closer to the middle and compare Sam's Town to Planet Hollywood. Or Plaza to Caesar's Palace. The disparity of each casino's quality is lower in those cases, but it's a lot more visible when comparing Longhorn to Bellagio. My point, for the sake of this point, is that how one would define "worst casino" goes far beyond a star rating, average nightly room rate, or score on TripAdvisor. There are several criteria involved, and I think that the scope of this criteria needs to be considered prior to assigning such a label as this.
In the case of our discussion, we deemed Longhorn to be undesirable because of its location, patrons, and relative lack of amenities. We deemed it to be desirable because of its quality of low-stakes gambling. Similarly, we deemed Bellagio to be undesirable because of its quality of low-stakes gambling, but desirable because of its location, patrons, and availability of amenities (with a comp system to give them for free, to compensate for the lower quality of gambling). So, obviously, Longhorn is less desirable than Bellagio, but its quality of gambling more than offsets any of its negatives, in my opinion.
So, I think I do understand what you're saying. What's the catch? You have to play at Longhorn. What are you playing lousy odds and high limits for at the Bellagio? Comps. The value is questionable to the average low-stakes table game player, in my opinion, but that's another discussion.
I don't know. If you asked me to come up with a single word to describe the smell in there, that might have been it.
You are the expert that knows better than anyone what a shit hole smells like, so I'll take your word for it.
Wow, that escalated quickly. Hope your day improves.
Just trying to be funny. If you don't think it's funny feel free to report the post and it'll be taken down.
Seemed like an odd thing to say to someone you don't know, but no harm done.
I think I read somewhere that the average bankroll for gambling is $800 per trip. Accordingly, I am not surprised that many people do flock to the $5 tables. When I was younger, I played at the lower tables. Even when Bellagio and other resorts had 3/2 tables, the number of tables greatly reduced during the course of the day. Bellagio and other like casinos are not focused on the low level gambler. Plus, playing red chips will not get you comps on the strip.
When I look at what casino I want to stay at, the quality of the restaurants, spa and other factors are just as important as the gambling conditions.
As for low level BJ, I played at the Boardwalk one time at a $3 table. It was A very sad experience. There was no joy as the people I was gambling. It appeared that they could not afford to lose the $3.
You and I both!
I get what you are saying, I truly do. I will build on your argument of expected loses from one casino to the next. I like looking at units to compare, but you like dollars lost. So I will build on that!
Here is why you are not giving up that much to play at a $10 table on the strip, even with the shit 6:5, compared to the effort it would take to trek all the way over to a Boulder property to play on a $2 table. Like you said ""I've got $300 to play with today"" do I spend $50 and an hour in a cab/Uber both ways to play at the Longhorn (we both know we arent ballsy enough to stay there on vacation) ? Or do I spend a few hours at the Monte Carlo, where I assume I will lose $50 more due to the shitty odds?
The difference is (really there are many) the $50 spent to/from Longhorn is gone. The $50 in expected increased losses at the Monte might never happen. Just like anywhere you could still win, especially if you are playing $10 per hand. That is just cashing up 5 units after a run. But the chances of cashing up 25 units on a $2 table are still greater to cover that tab, even with a better game. So when looking at a limited budget, and where you have to go to get the better rules, it might still make sense to stay on the strip if that is where your room is.
If the Longhorn was across from Monte Carlo, and we ignored the comp end, you win! But the expected out of pocket expense for an average player to just get there is still part of the equation.
Trust me, we agree on most everything being said. Looking for better odds, staying where its a better value, stretching your money ETC. But for a low stakes player, that has to travel to Vegas, I don't think spending your time in a tiny casino off the beaten path is as productive, or gambling budget friendly, as you do when considering what it takes to actually play there (and what life is like actually playing there).
So lets split the difference and share some good advice with our pals on the board! If you have $300 to gamble per day, you want some action for your money while on vacation, your best bet is to stay Downtown. Find that $3 game at the Cal. If they pay back 6:5, but there is a 3:2 $5 game right next to it. Play there. Pay for your room, its Fremont Street, shit is pretty cheap. See how long your budget can hold out on a low stakes, better rules table.
Play as long as you want if that is what you are there to do. Or at least as long as your budget holds out. Hand over your club card as soon as you buy in. Ask for your rating as soon as you cash out. Ask the pit boss if he can do anything for you. Maybe they can waive a night of your room bill. Maybe he can toss you a comp buffet. Just ask!
You'll have the resort feel (just not fancy like the strip) good (but not the best you can find) odds on both tables/slots. Play for some comps and stretch your money. And unlike playing at a shithole way out in the boonies, you wont be taking cabs anywhere to explore, Fremont is packed with things to see. And when your money runs out, go listen to a free band or take in the lightshow under the canopy.
Its the best of both worlds. And if you win something downtown, take the Deuce to the strip. See the free volcano, walk through Italy, get the vacation/tourist out of your system and steal the strip experience for free. That is a good value!
And I just realized I didn't get to cast my vote. The shittiest casino I have ever been to in Vegas was the old O'sheas. Not just for the dregs of society playing in there, or the fact I watched someone puke into the coin return of a slant top slot machine. But for the smell of old Burger King mixed with smoke and a dash of diarrhea from the pottys that always seemed to be overflowing. Add in the the filthy conditions of the machines, there was like 10 ashtrays in the entire casino so everyone ashed on the floor or on their machine. With a sprinkling of fruit flies in drink the ONE time I ordered something there.
Play $10 3:2 at the Cromwell until Longhorn goes to 2:1.
This, I think evens out our discussion nicely. Specifically, with the inclination toward Fremont Street. That's a place that you can still get a good game, without having to be out in the middle of nowhere. Like I said in my last post, I wasn't referring specifically to the Longhorn - but rather, "lesser" places to play, when compared to high-end resorts. The transport costs (of time and money) getting from the strip to the Longhorn definitely offset much (if not all) of the theoretical gambling savings. Accepting a premium for closeness to things to do, a favourable atmosphere, and comps that you can actually do something with, I think that very little is sacrificed by playing on Fremont Street. On standard Boyd double deck rules (H17, DoA, nDAS, 3:2), the house edge per wager is 0.531%. Betting $5 per hand at 100 hands per hour, your expected hourly loss is $2.65. Keeping the minimum-wager-adjusted theory in place (that is, we're comparing $5 minimum wagers at these rules to $15 minimum wagers at shit 6:5 rules), that hourly loss is just 9.6% of what you would lose on 6:5, or 90.4% less. Still a substantial advantage.
So, yes, you'll lose less by playing specifically at the Longhorn. But you forego much of what you would get on Fremont Street. To me, what you get on Fremont Street is excellent value. Comparing that directly with what you would get on the strip, I don't think that losing $24 more per hour is worthwhile, when I can take the SDX for $8 per day to take a 20-30 minute ride to and from the strip whenever I please.
Just quickly taking this back to what sparked this whole discussion... when I asked what the "catch" is for Longhorn's excellent BJ conditions, the "catch" is very clear. Where you have to go, and what little you'll get in return for your play. Taking everything into account, there's virtually no "catch" to playing on Fremont Street. The only exception to this is if you like to play a lot (as in a metric fuckload) of blackjack. Incidentally, that happens to be something I enjoy doing. In fact, now that I know this exists, it's on my "Vegas bucket list" to go there and spend all day playing blackjack. I was planning on staying at Sam's Town for a few days in any case. So, to spend a few bucks on an Uber both ways, I think is very much worthwhile, if it means I can get a 10-hour, or even 15-hour day of blackjack in, without it costing me an arm and a leg. Of course, I know that such amounts of blackjack are either impractical or undesirable for most people. But again... we all Vegas quite differently. So, since it's a bucket list item for me to do, and I'm willing to arrange my accommodations as such so that there's no disadvantage to getting that game, there's really no "catch". But to normal Vegas tourists, I can definitely see why there is a "catch".
As a side note... Speaking from a global perspective, the Longhorn game may actually be the "cheapest" I've seen anywhere in the world. I played in Poland last year, where the low-limit 3:2 tables were 10 Zloty per hand (currently $2.68 USD). I've also played in Hungary before, where the lowest limit tables were 500 Forint per hand (currently $1.84 USD). While the 500 HUF tables may be marginally lower in terms of the wager, there's the increased house edge from the European no-hole-card rule, and there's no free drinks, which makes playing/drinking more expensive. Oh, also, it costs a LOT more to fly to Budapest than it does to fly to Vegas. Thus, the takeaway I'm trying to provide here is that you won't get a "cheaper" game anywhere else in the world. For people who just want to play on the cheap, I feel like that could make a difference
Now time for me to cast a vote. Geez. Really, I'd have to say Casino Royale. On the plus side, its location is excellent, being right in the middle of the strip. There's also no resort fee (though the room rates are often high enough, I find, that it evens out with many of the lower-end strip properties).
However... someone else here said it best when they said "Casino Royale is almost a 'drink out of a bottle not out of a glass' type of place". Its atmosphere is very "I just got my welfare check". Table limits and rules (6:5 blackjack) are pretty comparable to elsewhere in Vegas. Its saving grace used to be its 100x odds on craps, but they've done away with that. Then there's the $1 Michelob Ultras. Which, compared to the high prices you might pay elsewhere for bottled beer, could be seen as a positive. But considering that $1 becomes $2 with the obligatory $1 tip, you really might as well go to CVS or Walgreens and buy a $2 can of beer at retail.
In the grand scheme of things, I view CR to be an eyesore to the image of the strip. Don't get me wrong, I love dives. But there's a time and a place. Next to Venetian/Palazzo is not it. So CR has my vote as worst casino in town.
You gave me a good laugh! Thanks
Seeing a lot of mentions of Longhorn here but they are advertising a remodel of the hotel. By chance anyone stayed here since the remodel? $34 a night sounds really nice especially being across the road from Sam's Town where I plan on spending a good bit of time. Am I foolish for even considering it?
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